FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Rex Ryan crowed last Sunday after his Jets defense basically wadded up Oakland's running game like a piece of paper and threw it into a wastebasket, allowing only 25 yards rushing. Things figure to be different Sunday in Green Bay against a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who can hand off to 230-pound back Eddie Lacy to keep a defense honest.
But Ryan figures the other guys will have their hands full blocking his line. "Our front seven is pretty good, and we don't care who we play," he said. Naming the offensive linemen from the Packers' dynasty in the mid-60s, Ryan added: "You could have Jerry Kramer, Fuzzy Thurston, Jim Ringo, Forrest Gregg and [Bob Skoronski] out there if you like. Our guys are showing up to play."
Last season, Ryan's defense led the NFL in allowing the fewest yards per carry (3.4), but the Packers' running game is a real challenge. Since the beginning of last season, they rank eighth in rushing per game (130.4 yards) and fifth in average carry (4.62). The reason for that was the addition of Lacy, who ran for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie last season.
Lacy left Sunday's game in Seattle with a concussion but is probable after receiving medical clearance to play the Jets. As Ryan noted, Rodgers' passing ability helps open things up for Lacy -- who ran for 34 yards on 12 carries against the Seahawks -- and the rest of the running game.
"They do a lot of creative things with their blocking," Ryan said. "They'll get you going one way and then bend the ball all the way back. They try to create angles on you. Because of the guy pulling the trigger [Rodgers] is why you've got a light box."
Lacy might be vulnerable while recovering from a concussion, but he's not the sort to tiptoe through the line. He hits like a linebacker.
"He's definitely at the top," said Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor, a noted hitter in his own right. "He doesn't want the hit delivered to him. He's the one that brings it. He makes sure you feel his presence . . . a downhill runner."
"I watched him since his college days at Alabama. We have to do a great job of tackling him."
Ryan indicated the secondary might get some help from the return of cornerback Dee Milliner (sprained ankle), who was limited in practice Friday but listed as probable. Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen again are expected to start at the corners, but Milliner should see time in situations with extra defensive backs.
Notes & quotes: The Jets re-signed cornerback Ellis Lankster, who is expected to see considerable action on special teams . . . Linebacker Calvin Pace was fined $16,537 for roughing Oakland quarterback Derek Carr in the opener . . . Linebacker A.J. Edds (hamstring) is out and cornerback Josh Bush (quadriceps) is listed as questionable. Probables include guard Willie Colon (calf) and tight end Jeff Cumberland (non-injury-related).